Articles | Volume 33, issue 10
Regular paper
30 Oct 2015
Regular paper |  | 30 Oct 2015

Self-consistent electrostatic simulations of reforming double layers in the downward current region of the aurora

H. Gunell, L. Andersson, J. De Keyser, and I. Mann

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In a simulation study of the downward current region of the aurora, i.e. where electrons are accelerated upward, double layers are seen to form at low altitude and move upward until they are disrupted at altitudes of ten thousand kilometres or thereabouts. When one double layer is disrupted a new one forms below, and the process repeats itself. The repeated demise and reformation allows ions to flow upward without passing through the double layers that otherwise would have kept them down.